Monday, 5 March 2012

“With all my wealth I cannot even afford to feed my own son.”

Ananda Krishnan
I read an article from Business Bhutan. It was written by Tshering Tashi about his brief encounter with an elderly man and his only son, a monk. They flew into Paro, Bhutan, in their own jet.

The elderly man is none other than Ananda Krishnan, the second richest man in Malaysia. According to Forbes, he is worth 7.6 billion dollars. The self-made businessman and a notable philanthropist leads a low profile life. Both he and his son are Buddhists.

Few years ago, the billionaire lost his son and managed to eventually find him in a Buddhist monastery in north Thailand. Shocked to see his son in saffron robes, short hair with a begging alms bowl in his hand, Krishnan invited his son for a meal. However, his son said, "I am sorry; I cannot accept your invitation. Like all my fellow monks, I have to beg for my food.” 

Krishnan's reply made headlines, With all my wealth I cannot even afford to feed my own son.”

The son, who is in his 30s, still lives in the monastery in a forest of Thailand and depends on other people’s generosity for his sustenance.

Tshering Tashi wrote, "hearing stories like these one wonders if we are giving up everything that we already possess to acquire things that we really don’t need. This story clearly demonstrates that human contentment and well being in real terms requires us to go beyond physical, mental, and emotional dimension. Krishnan’s son clearly shows that detachment could be a greater wealth and devotion a bigger asset in our lives."

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